World’s Leading Creative CEO to Speak at URI, March 24

KINGSTON, RI – Bob Jeffrey, Chairman and CEO of JWT Worldwide, is the man at the helm of the world’s best known marketing-communications brand and the guest speaker at the URI College of Business Administration’s 7th Annual Vangermeersch Lecture.

Free and open to the public, the lecture will be held on Monday, March 24 at 7 pm in the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences Auditorium, 120 Flagg Road, Kingston Campus.

Jeffrey is regarded as an ambassador of advertising and is widely respected for his views, achievements and absolute focus on creativity. The title of his speech is: “From Rhode Island to Madison Ave: The Creative CEO on brand building, creativity and pioneering for the future.”

As JWT celebrates its 150th Anniversary, Jeffrey leads the global network in a yearlong celebration aimed at galvanizing its employees, clients and the industry around the agency’s pioneering history and culture of innovation—roots that extend from the agency’s founder, James Walter Thompson, who is hailed as the original ad man to achievements such as hiring the first female creative director to inventing the planning discipline and launching the first Kit Kat into space. Jeffrey’s mission is to lead the company into the future by reigniting the agency’s passion for inventing pioneering ideas that people want to participate in and spend time with.

As just one example of his pioneering philosophy, engaging personality and broad-based market understanding, he has taken JWT’s values of pioneering and innovation on the road and online with Worldmakers, the first original online video series to air exclusively on LinkedIn. Jeffrey hosts the series that features informal interviews and candid discussions with some of the world’s most respected leaders and explores the convergence of advertising, technology and entertainment.

Jeffrey’s knowledge and experience of the industry led him to become a regular contributor to Fox Business Network, CNBC and CNN, as well as a frequent source of quotes for leading trade and business publications.

At JWT, he is responsible for over 800 offices and 10,000 employees in more than 90 countries; working with blue-chip clients such as Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Nokia, Nestlé, Unilever and many others.

Jeffrey was born and raised in Providence, and received his B.A. in English at Manhattan College.

Headquartered in New York, JWT consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues a dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from producing the first-ever TV commercial in 1939 to developing award-winning branded content today.

The Vangermeersch Endowed Lecture was established in 2008 with a gift from Deborah Ciolfi ’80 in honor of her former accounting professor, Richard Vangermeersch, who retired in 2004 after 34 years of teaching at URI.

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